Playtime with paper boats!

Children plying rain water with boats.1Is there a child in India or any part of the world who is not familiar with the enchantment of making and playing with paper boats? The onset if monsoons or even a small puddle become a delightful playground for boisterous children, filled with glee, having fun with their paper boats. Games ensue, sometimes gaining competitive levels, to keep the boats upright and floating, creating ripples in the water to capsize a rival’s boat! Then there are the children who sit lazily by the water, idly pushing their boat around, quite content to dream about being on a boat, in a river, having an adventure entirely on their own.

Children plying rain water with boats.2The rains in May created many opportunities merry playtime for the kids in Redlawada School. The numerous pools of water dotting the school grounds became a playground for invigorating water play and paper boat games. As adults, there is so much to learn observing children at play. The sources of delight and happiness for them is so simple – splashing water, getting the boats to ride in small puddles bring about refreshing peals of laughter that really warm the heart.

Watching them play reminded us of this beautiful poem aptly titled ‘Paper Boats’ by Rabindranath Tagore that beautifully captures the innocence and imagination of childhood –

Day by day I float my paper boats one by one down the running stream.

In big black letters I write my name on them and the name of the village where I live.

I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and know who I am.

I load my little boats with shiuli flowers from our garden, and hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land in the night.

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